LinkedIn to Find a Job

posted Jun 16, 2014, 11:47 AM by Marianne E. Green   [ updated Jun 16, 2014, 11:51 AM ]

Your LinkedIn resume is an important job search tool. Its key advantage over a traditional resume- whether paper or electronic- is that it can be more comprehensive and contain more helpful features. That doesn't mean that you should neglect one in favor of the other! When you create your LinkedIn "resume," keep the following in mind:

1. Make sure your profile is formatted and free of spelling and grammatical errors. It's useful to create your profile in Word initially and then cut and paste into your profile
.
2. Your LinkedIn resume can and should have a professional head shot. While pictures are not recommended for traditional resumes, they are necessary here.

3. Your LinkedIn resume can be as long as you need it to be! Go into detail using key words in your Experience section. You can even add relevant classes to your Education section. Subscribe to groups that will keep you abreast of your field of interest. Get recommendations that will help "flesh out" your profile. Provide links to articles you have written or conferences where you may have presented. Try to fill out your profile--- 100%.

4. Unlike the traditional resume, LinkedIn has limited formatting. You can't use bolding or italics. Asterisks and capital letters, however, will draw attention to your key points. You have more formatting flexibility with a traditional resume: underlining, bolding, italics, symbols, etc.

5. LinkedIn is more dynamic than your traditional resume. Take advantage of this by updating your status regularly so your contacts are informed about your achievements or movements. Make sure you "like" and "comment" on the updates of others in your network, as well.
In summary, you need both- a LinkedIn profile and a traditional resume- for successful networking and job seeking. Both must be effective and complete to promote your brand

Make No Mistake About It!

posted Jun 16, 2014, 5:45 AM by Marianne E. Green   [ updated Jun 16, 2014, 11:49 AM ]


Make sure your resume avoids these common errors! Keep in mind that resumes are first looked at by people (or robots) in a hurry. Resumes are tools for quickly and efficiently screening people out or in.
 
1. Flowery, cliche ridden, overly general objective or summary statements need to go. Power words should be carefully chosen for this important section.
 
2. Too much focus on job duties, rather than on what you accomplished on the job. Duties are what you were supposed to do.  But did you do a good job?  Prove it.
 
3. Using "I," "me," or "my." Everyone should know by now that personal pronouns have no place on a resume. Memoir- yes. Resume- no.
 
4. Listing information that is irrelevant. You may be proud of your prowess at skeet shooting but if it doesn't relate to the job, leave it out.  Your resume isn't your autobiography.
 
5. Forgetting to insert related key words. Make sure you use words from the job ad (in context!) on your resume. Automatic Tracking Systems are programmed to pick these up.
 
6. Neglecting to weed out typos and mis-used words. Typos indicate carelessness that employers fear might translate to your job duties.
 
7. Too long.  Streamline your resume for a quick skim or scan. There are piles of resumes to get through and you want to make it easy to find the salient information. (Don't throw out good material, though, in an effort to make your resume short.)
 
8. Using a functional resume that neglects specific places and dates. Employers are savvy about why people leave off specific information; they know you are trying to cover up gaps, age, or lack of experience. You are who you are. Better to be straight-forward. 
 
 

Resume Resolutions

posted Dec 17, 2013, 2:07 PM by Marianne E. Green

The New Year 2014 is almost here! This is the perfect time to redesign your resume whether you are searching for a new job or just getting ready for whatever possibilities happen to come your way. 

Don't forget that resumes are dynamic, not static documents.  As you change and grow, with new responsibilities and new challenges, your resume should change and grow, as well.  Last year's resume is stale.  It may not communicate your new accomplishments and skills using fresh language and a refurbished structure.

Begin by making a list of your on-the-job and volunteer accomplishments of 2013.  Think about them in terms of 1) what CHALLENGE you faced; 2) what ACTIONS you took to meet the challenge; and 3) what were the RESULTS?

Did you save money or make money? Did you increase security, or decrease risk? Did you save time or add convenience? Did you acquire or retain customers? Did you increase productivity?  Did you improve quality?  Did you make life more fun or easier?

Provide hard evidence of your successes in the form of numbers, percentages, charts, graphs, evaluations, promotions, commendations, awards, grades, etc.

Use strong action verbs and compelling adjectives to frame your evidence.

Incorporate this new information into your resume. Compress or delete older information that is no longer relevant or timely.

Now your resume is ready to represent you in the New Year 2014!!




What benefits do you bring to your future employer?

posted Oct 10, 2013, 9:56 AM by Marianne E. Green

When you think about a new job, your thoughts automatically turn to what the new job would do for you: Pay more money; have better benefits, offer more challenging and interesting assignments; provide a more positive work environment; employ more

pleasant colleagues, etc.

 

While these are all understandable desires, you also need to acknowledge that you will probably be hired because of the benefits you bring to the employer, not the other way around.

 

Your resume should include some or all of these benefits you would bring to the table: 

  • Save money, make money
  • Increase security, decrease risk
  • Save time
  • Enhance the prestige or image of the company
  • Add convenience,
  • Enhance the well-being of fellow workers
  • Make life more fun or easier
  • Acquire or retain customers
  • Increase productivity
  • Improve quality

Before writing or updating your resume, spend some time thinking back on your prior jobs or volunteer work to find evidence of these accomplishments.  Be specific

 

Do your hobbies have a place on your resume?

posted Aug 1, 2013, 4:01 PM by Marianne E. Green

The answer to this question is: It depends!
Ask yourself the following questions:
 
* Is there enough space on my resume to include this material without running past one or two pages?
 
*Do my hobbies or interests relate in some way to my field of interest?
 
* Do my interests suggest certain positive qualities or attributes that would pertain to my field or to a specific job?  Competitiveness? Leadership? Service? Communications Skills? Technical Skills? Unique traits or abilities?
 
* Do my hobbies show a different side of my personality that contrasts with "stereotypes" in my field? For example, a math major who writes a blog for her youth group or an engineer who raises pedigreed Irish Wolfhounds.
 
* Do my hobbies dovetail with work-related outside activities? Proficiency in golf, for example, is a hobby that may serve as a networking tool in business.
 
* Be absolutely accurate about your interests! Do not exaggerate or make up relevant hobbies.  Interviewers will undoubtedly question you about this information. Be prepared. 
 
  You may be passionate about your hobbies and spend many hours pursuing them, but that doesn't mean they should take up valuable space on your resume.  In some cases, however, a few hobbies, judiciously chosen, can add some "zest" to what might otherwise be a dry document. 
 

 

 

 

Tips for National Job Seekers

posted Jul 3, 2013, 1:00 PM by Marianne E. Green   [ updated Jul 3, 2013, 1:04 PM ]

You may be eager to relocate to another part of the US and have taken steps to become knowledgeable about national, regional, and city-based job search web sites in your field. However, you also need to take care that your resume won’t pigeonhole you right away as a “foreigner,” naïve about sections of the US far from your own. You want to avoid even the suggestion that you have scattered your resume far and wide with no specific design.  You especially don’t want to immediately raise a red flag about the possible expense of flying you to a distant location for an interview, or, ultimately, paying for your moving expenses.  To forestall this problem, take some steps to customize your resume and cover letter for a wide ranging search.

1.       Leave off your street address, city, and state.  If you have your email address, LinkedIn URL, or personal website URL, your physical location is irrelevant.

2.       If you are focusing on a specific city and have a contact there, use her street address (with her permission!) making sure that you label this as contact address.

3.       Use each cover letter to address your interest in the employer’s city  or region by mentioning any professional  or personal connections you  may have there: conferences  in that city you took part in; educational institutions you attended, local employers you dealt with; friends or relatives in the area who shared positive information about the city or region with you; and  recent news about growth or achievements in the city or state.

Employers sometimes favor the local candidate who already has a network in place and is familiar with the city and region with regard to housing and cost of living. If possible, take pains with your resume and cover letter to downplay where you come from and indicate relevant local connections and information.

Use a Summary, not an Objective!

posted Apr 22, 2013, 10:53 AM by Marianne E. Green   [ updated Apr 22, 2013, 11:59 AM ]

The OBJECTIVE category of the resume is being replaced by the SUMMARY category.  Why?
 
The OBJECTIVE tends to be a general "wish list" about the job you would ideally like to have. The focus is on what you, yourself, hope to gain from the job. Employers, however are more interested in what the candidate can do for them.
Objective:
 
 Position in a growth industry where I can utilize my skills and advance.
 
 The SUMMARY tends to focus on what you can contribute to the organization you are applying to, that is, how you can successfully meet their needs Whether in a bulleted list or in the form of a paragraph (sentence fragments strung together so as to resemble a paragraph), the SUMMARY can frame your experience and background with key words and phrases from the job description to make as close a match as possible with the position requirements.  The SUMMARY is a means of front-loading the resume with your most important and salient information! The top of the resume is prime "real estate." The SUMMARY allows you to take full advangage of it.
 
  • 3 years experience in advertising.
  • Skilled in print, electronic, and direct marketing.
  • Winner of International Addy award for original design.
  • Acknowledged as inspirational team leader.
3 years experience in advertising. Skilled in print, electronic, and direct marketing. Winner of international Addy award for original design. Acknowledged as inspirational team leader.
 
 
 
 

LinkedIn "complements" your resume

posted Mar 19, 2013, 2:01 PM by Marianne E. Green

Your LinkedIn resume is an important job search tool. It's key advantage over a traditional resume- whether paper or electronic- is that it can be more comprehensive and contain more helpful features. That doesn't mean that you should neglect one in favor of the other! When you create your LinkedIn "resume," keep the following in mind:
1. Make sure your profile is formatted and free of spelling and grammatical errors. It's useful to create your profile in Word initially and then cut and paste into your profile.
2. Your LinkedIn resume can and should have a professional headshot. While pictures are not recommended for traditional resumes, they are necessary here.
3. Your LinkedIn resume can be as long as you need it to be! Go into detail using key words in your Experience section. You can even add relevant classes to your Education section. Subscribe to groups that will keep you abreast of your field of interest. Get recommendations that will help "flesh out" your profile. Provide links to articles you have written or conferences where you may have presented. Try to fill out your profile--- 100%.
4. Unlike the traditional resume, LinkedIn has limited formatting. You can't use bolding or italics. Asterisks and capital letters, however, will draw attention to your key points. You have more formatting flexibility with a traditional resume: underlining, bolding, italics, symbols, etc.
5. LinkedIn is more dynamic than your traditional resume. Take advantage of this by updating your status regularly so your contacts are informed about your achievements or movements. Make sure you "like" and "comment" on the updates of others in your network, as well.
In summary, you need both- a LinkedIn profile and a traditional resume- for successful networking and job seeking. Both must be effective and complete to promote your brand.

Why Hire a Professional Resume Writer?

posted Feb 26, 2013, 9:48 AM by Marianne E. Green   [ updated Mar 6, 2013, 3:14 PM ]

 
An article in Forbes, a premier business publication, ran an article by Jenna Goudreau (12/13/2012that captured the reasons why hiring a professional resume writer is a sound investment:  "Job seekers are 40% more likely to get noticed with a professionally written resume." Why? 
 
 Generally, the average person who writes a resume will have difficulty being completely objective about her own career path, skills, traits, and responsibilites. She may undervalue or overvalue her achievements and accomplishments. She may not be aware of the "right" terminology and phrasing that will create a fresh, powerful document pitched to a particular job. Finally, she may not be aware of the formatting and other techniques that help a resume pass successfully through the ATS (applicant tracking system) utilized by many employers.
 
If you hire a licensed resume writer, one who has years of experience and a successful track record, you gain much more than "just" a polished resume.  Answering the resume professional's probing questions helps you identify accomplishments (with evidence to back them up), an assessment process that is incredibly helpful in preparing for future interviews.
 
Just as you would hesitate to prescribe medication for yourself, you should hesitate to write your own resume without in-depth consultation.  Resume writers, certified by the Professional Association of Resume Writers and Career Coaches, will add the "magic" your resume needs to be competitive!
 

The Value of Volunteering

posted Feb 10, 2013, 1:52 PM by Marianne E. Green   [ updated Feb 10, 2013, 1:54 PM ]

Volunteering is a beneficial activity on so many levels, personal and professional. Consider expanding your portfolio of volunteer commitments to do the following:
1. Serve your your community and make a contribution to causes that you feel passionate about: social, political, economic, etc.
2. Take each volunteer opportunity as a chance to enhance and build your skill set. 
3. Use your volunteer opportunity to link with professionals and fellow volunteers in the non-profit sector.  Invite your contacts to connect with you on LinkedIn.  Exchange emails and networking cards.
4. Assess the skills you are learning, or have learned through volunteering and be prepared to talk about them in an interview with specific examples: leading, communication, administering, tutoring, building, supervising, writing, branding, public speaking, canvassing, raising funds and more.
5. Proudly showcase your volunteer experience on your resume using action verbs and accomplishment statements. What challenges did you face?  What steps did you take to meet the challenge? What were the results?
6. List your volunteer jobs on your resume, whatever your field of interest. Volunteering is looked upon favorably by employers in engineering, business, science, technology, as well as in the non-profit world.
7. ****Avoid using the qualifiers: "just," "only" when you refer to your volunteer job,i.e., "It was just a volunteer position I held for a summer."  "It was only something I did for my community board, my child's school, or my town."
8. Volunteer supervisors who know and are impressed by your work will gladly give you references. Provide him or her with your resume and information about the job you are applying for so he or she can see the link between your volunteer commitment and your job target.

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